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CAT and English

education Updated: Nov 04, 2009 09:21 IST
Ankur Jain
Ankur Jain
Hindustan Times
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With just a few weeks left for CAT, let’s see how we can deal with the English section.
This section checks language skills in English — the global language of business communication. You should focus on strengthening your skills by reading a wide range of non-fiction in e-book form to help you do well in the online format.

Identify and focus on subjects/topics that you are not very familiar with, e.g. philosophy, spirituality, religion, social sciences, humanities, sciences etc. to develop a comfort level with them.

Spend a couple of hours every day reading and solving questions related to these subjects. Memorising rules of grammar or just cramming at this juncture will bear little fruit, so do not worry too much about it.

Make it a point to pay attention to verbal logic, which includes questions on paragraph formation/completion, summary writing, critical reasoning, etc.

Understanding the logic of the language and various techniques and approaches will help you improve accuracy as well as speed in this area.

While attempting the examination, most of you will gain by focusing on VA (verbal ability) first and then RC (reading comprehension) — assuming these appear in CAT. Allocate time proportionate to the marks allotted to both. Read all questions in the ‘allocated’ time, attempt the questions you know and leave the ones you are not sure of. Do not get stuck with any question. If you have time left, devote it to the RC section.

Moving on to RC, spend some time scanning the passages and questions and choose passages with easier questions. These are not necessarily the easiest passages. Attempt as many passages as you can. If there are some difficult (inferential) questions in a passage, leave them, without being tempted by the thought that you must attempt all questions since you have invested time in reading the passage. Similarly, if you plan to leave a passage, check for some easier (non-inferential) questions that you may be still able to attempt without fully reading/comprehending it.

Do not set any minimum number of questions to be attempted as your target. Going by the past few years’ CAT papers, ambiguity and close options are likely, so proceed with caution while attempting the verbal section.

The author is Chief Knowledge Expert, T.I.M.E.

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